Sunday night. The eve before Monday morning always leaves me wanting more weekend. And yet room 209 awaits and tomorrow the bell will ring at 8:04 a.m. and I will continue unpacking e. e. cummings’ poem “in Just-” with my AP English Literature students. Rather than post the cummings poem, I figured I would return to the Collins poem I posted on April 1st and add my own reflection on teaching. Much has changed in twenty-two years, and though this poem is far from accurate for my first period AP students, it does speak to the general frustration I experience when I feel like I’m throwing bread to wooden ducks.
by Vincent H. Anastasi 2019 Once I was the mama bird pre-chewing, partially digesting the tougher texts - perplexing poems, ponderous prose - allowing them to churn in my gut, to break down the pieces before regurgitating fermented sustenance into the clamoring mouths too old to still fill a nest, fully feathered, wings strong enough to fly, keen eyes alert to lurking predators, sensitive to the minute changes beneath the grass as the tiny ends of worms burst from the loam. But now, all the mouths are silent, all the eyes turned away, and all the bellies full; no hungry chirps, no jostling for nourishment, no majestic terrifying leaps of faith finding flight -- wonder replaced by Wonder Bread, slice upon identical slice of bleached, spongy, sugary unwholesome distractions and effortless handouts of thoughtless hands. The flock moves on and all that remains is a solitary duck floating about the pond in silent protest bearing the words “Please don’t feed me BREAD” while the Pavlovian pigeons and gulls gather about the woman and child sitting on the park bench.